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I thankfully discovered the option to force GPU rendering of apps in the system settings of ICS.

So far, I did only notice a difference with one app: Twitter for Android was very annoying to use before, since the fps were very low. Now it's almost perfectly smooth.

I've heard that the RAM usage is higher with GPU rendering activated.

  • How much is the difference?

  • What other effects does GPU rendering have on the performance of ICS?

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The builtin News & Weather app will crash when you tap the forecast in order to see the graph. – Josh Lee Jan 3 '12 at 18:17
Yeah, I know. But I need to activate this option because Twitter for Android is really horrible without forced GPU rendering. – user10769 Jan 3 '12 at 18:27
up vote 2 down vote accepted

This post will explain everything. It details how GPU rendering works in ICS.

Though, if you want a short answer:

GPU rendering essentially forces the drawing of windows and UI elements in apps to be calculated and done using the GPU of your phone instead of the CPU. This frees up clock cycles for the CPU to do other tasks enabling your phone to be generally smoother and faster. However, this means that everything being done by the GPU eats more RAM (as its using OpenGL to do it which requires more overhead). Android has always done some aspects with the GPU using hardware acceleration. What I have described is a MAJOR OVERSIMPLIFICATION. Its not so cut and dry. Please read the link above in its entirety for a full understanding of the concept.

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Great source! Thanks. – user10769 Jan 3 '12 at 8:11

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